Effects of Human-Machine Integration on the Construction of Identity

Effects of Human-Machine Integration on the Construction of Identity

Francesc Ballesté (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain) and Carme Torras (Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC, Spain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4607-0.ch063
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Abstract

Recent developments in social robotics, intelligent prosthetics, brain-computer interfaces, and implants pose new questions as to the effects of technology on identity, society, and the future of humankind. The authors’ standpoint is that such effects cannot be studied separately from their social/cultural context, and thus, this chapter begins by reviewing the existing approaches to the social construction of reality, placing special emphasis on language and its limitations to describe the future. Then, it focuses on the body as the place where the human-machine integration occurs, and describes four levels at which the notion of cyborg has been analyzed in anthropological studies: symbolic, physical, as a permeable layer between nature and culture, and as an intermediate step towards a higher-order existence. The chapter ends up with a word of caution in relation to technological determinism stemming from STS (Science and Technology Studies), as well as the need to establish Relevant Social Groups (RSG) with well-founded criteria that join scientific and sociological academics under a multidisciplinary approach.
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Preliminary Concepts On The Social Construction Of Reality

Our study aims to analyze the influence of language as a mechanism of objectification of collective knowledge in a technocratic society and its symbolic universe. From our point of view, this is important in two aspects:

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